MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State, after a tough road loss at Iowa State last week, will look to bounce back from a loss for the fourth time this season as the Cats travel to Lincoln, Neb., for a nationally televised game with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Saturday’s matchup with Nebraska will be televised nationally by the Versus Network, while the contest will air live on radio across the 31-station K-State Sports Network and on Sirius Satellite Radio, with Wyatt Thompson and Stan Weber calling the action and Matt Walters providing updates from the sidelines.
The Wildcats, who will earn their pivotal sixth win of the season with their next victory, hit the road in league play for the second straight week after suffering a tough 31-20 setback at Iowa State last weekend. K-State has continued to get strong performances from senior wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who is just eight receptions away from becoming the Big 12 Conference’s single-season receptions leader for a senior. The All-America candidate and Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist re-established the K-State single-game receiving yards record last week at Iowa State after collecting 14 catches for 214 yards and a touchdown. Nelson had previously set the record with 209 yards against Missouri State earlier this season.
K-State continues to put up solid numbers offensively as the Wildcats enter the Nebraska game ranked among the top 20 teams nationally in both scoring offense (20th) and passing offense (16th) and are closing in on single-season school records in team passing yards, attempts and yards per completion while already setting the completion record. Individually, Nelson is ranked second nationally in all three receiving categories, including receptions per game (10.0), receiving yards per game (135.8) and total receiving yards (1,222). Quarterback Josh Freeman, who is on pace to set numerous K-State single-season records, ranks 23rd nationally this week in total offense, averaging 281.4 yards a game. The sophomore has thrown for at least 250 yards in seven games this season and ranks third in the Big 12 in passing yards per game in league contests (282.3).
On special teams, the Wildcats continue to lead the nation in punt returns, averaging 22.1 yards per return, and also have scored a nation-leading four times. Anchored by Ray Guy Award semi-finalist Tim Reyer, Kansas State heads into the Nebraska game as the Big 12 leader in net punting (38.9) while also checking in at No. 7 nationally in punting.
Defensively, Kansas State ranks among the top 30 teams nationally in sacks, tackles for loss and turnover margin after generating a combined 20 turnovers over its last six games. Senior linebacker Justin Roland and defensive back Justin McKinney continue to pace the Wildcats in tackles as McKinney leads the squad with 58 total while Roland is close behind at 55. Thirteen different Wildcats have recorded sacks this season while 10 players have recorded interceptions, four of which have multiple picks.